As you already know from my previous post, Ukrainians follow an Easter tradition of blessing an Easter Basket full of special foods, which is covered with a special embroidered scarf.
These scarfs are hand embroidered by family members, and used only for the purpose of covering the Easter Baskets.
Embroidery is very popular in Ukrainian culture, and used in many aspects of very day life, such as home decor, male and female attire, ceramics, arts and crafts, etc.
The Easter Basket Covers, not only include a beautiful cross stitched geometric design, but also an announcement of a special Easter greeting, and other symbols associated with the celebration of Spring and Easter.
The writing you see above, pronounced, “Khrystos Voskres”, means, “Christ is Risen”, the true meaning of Easter for all Christians, and a greeting everyone uses beginning with Easter Sunday and continuing for several weeks.
Notice the pussy willows and the Easter Eggs embroidered on the cloth; also symbols associated with Easter celebrations.
The real twigs of pussy willows, or palms, are blessed during the liturgy on Palm Sunday (the last Sunday before Easter Sunday), as a symbolism of Jesus Christ arriving in Jerusalem.
They are distributed to all the attendees, after the liturgy, as everyone is being anointed on a forehead, with a holy oil.
The recipients of these twigs of pussy willows, or palms, pat each other on the shoulder, and exchange a traditional greeting, announcing that Easter is coming in one week (Ne ya byu , a shootka bye, za tyzden Velykden).
These embroidered scarfs are removed from the baskets before the blessing of the food, and displayed in front of the basket, as you see in the picture at the top of this post.
Ukrainian women pride themselves on their embroidery abilities, the variety of embroidery designs and techniques, thus very proudly display their work to be admired by others.